Having been a life and business coach for some time now, I’ve observed that there are more professionals who are willing to talk about getting into business, than those who actually dive into business full steam ahead.

Over time, I’ve collected the following business startup myths that keep professionals from getting into business.

Business requires a lot of money

Capital depends on the business you want to start. I wouldn’t advice on starting a capital-intensive business if you’re a first time entrepreneur; unless you have a great team, mentors or coach supporting you.

Find a way to bootstrap your business at startup and make sales before investing a lot of money in the business. This way, you will get to learn what works or doesn’t work in your business and industry, while making money at the same time.

You don’t have the time to start a business now

In the book The Reluctant Entrepreneur, Michael Masterson notes that a lot of successful businesses were started with very little money and during the founder’s free time.

From experience, I’ve found that it is possible to scale down most business ideas into something that you can start part-time and then scale it up as the business grows. The key is to start a business that you’re passionate about and have some knowledge or experience in.

You can also outsource some of the time-consuming work so that other people create the solutions for you while you look for customers and deliver to them.

What will people think or say about you?

A lot of time is wasted pondering this question in my opinion.

I’ve met people with amazing business ideas that were so right for the market at that time, but they freaked out when they thought about the reactions of their friends, family, colleagues and other people around them.

The reality is that most people really don’t think about you as much as you think they do.

The question to ask yourself is, “How much is my dream worth?” It isn’t worth much if you’ll allow other people’s opinions to kill it.

The likelihood of failure is higher than that of success

This is true to some extent. Researchers have shown time and again that 80-90% of startups fail within the first year. So it is possible that your business will fail.

But what if you focus on the other side of the coin and put in place measures that increase your likelihood to being in the 10-20% that succeed beyond the first year?

There’s a lot of research about common startup success factors too. Research your industry carefully and find out what causes failure and what it takes to succeed. Implement the lessons learnt in your business from the word go.

Another thing that will help your business succeed is if you treat it like a business from the start and not like a hobby.

Sales and marketing make you look needy and desperate

Well…the life of every business depends on effective marketing that leads to sales…so you cannot escape this.

At the beginning, you will have to become great at positioning your business in the market and getting people to buy from you. As your business grows, you can hire people to handle sales and marketing.

I used to hate and fear marketing so much that it killed my first business. Today, I love marketing and have become very good at it. I simply shifted my thinking from fear to realizing that I offer people solutions that make their lives and businesses better.

This shift is the reason I’m able to blog too…I had to overcome a huge fear of publicity to get active online.

One of the best things about business is that it will cure your fears very fast, if you hang in there.

People may not buy what you’re selling

There’s no way you’ll know this unless you get your product or service out there and offer it in the marketplace.

With careful pre-startup business idea and market research, you will be able to identify exactly what you can offer to the market and create your marketing offers based on the words that resonate with the people you’re selling to.

This is one of the areas I put great emphasis on with my coaching clients because it’s easy to get caught up in what you think people are looking for and completely miss out on what is actually needed.

As you get more contact with your customers, you will be able to create an ideal customer profile and target your marketing efforts to this kind of person. This will increase your sales and make marketing easier.

You can’t compete favourably with established businesses and brands

This is also partly true. However, startups have one big advantage in their favour: they are able to touch their customers and clients personally compared to huge brands. This personal touch is very important in today’s automated economy.

Startups are also better positioned to make decisions faster and change quickly to meet the changing needs of the market. This is not the case with big organizations where decision-making has to follow certain criteria and established hierarchy levels.

Back to you…

These seven business startup myths are not the only ones that keep professionals from getting into business. Are there other myths that you’ve heard of or that are keeping you from starting a business? Share with us in the Comments section below.

(Image credit: Stuart Miles at Free Digital Photos)

Want to find out what actually makes businesses fail after startup? Join me for the free Teleseminar 3 Common Startup Mistakes That Kill Businesses Fast (and how you can avoid or recover from them). Click here to sign up for the next Teleseminar.


Caroline Gikonyo
Caroline Gikonyo

Caroline Gikonyo created her dream business and ran it as a solopreneur for 6 years. She then teamed up with 2 other coaches and formed Biashara 360 where she is now the Head of Coaching. As a Business Coach, she's been helping professionals start and grow successful businesses while reducing the time they spend working. You can find out more about her work at www.biasharathreesixty.com.